Image of model in a robe sitting on the a bath tub edge holding a natural sea sponge with candle in the background

The difference between a loofah and natural sea sponge

When you first step foot into the world of natural bathing and skincare, you will quickly realize that there are two main options when it comes to finding a sponge that removes dead skin. You can either opt for a natural loofah bath sponge or a natural sea sponge for bathing.

Both are natural products, and both are used for skincare… but which is best?

At Naroa, we hand-select, harvest and process sea sponges for skincare. So yes, we are a little biased. But placing our bias aside, we have created this article to directly compare the difference between a loofah and natural sea sponge so you can make an informed decision.

Quick Summary

If you don’t have time to read our full article, here is what you need to know.

A natural loofah is made from a plant, giving it a very tough and rough texture. It will rub your skin raw and make you squeaky clean… but it’s better suited for scrubbing dishes and household surfaces. At least the loofah is eco-friendly and biodegradable!

On the other hand, a natural sea sponge is harvested from the seabed and has a unique sponge-like texture. It is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin, and provides a massaging effect as it exfoliates. Many people find that sea sponges provide a luxuriant, soothing sensation. Like the loofah, a natural sea sponge is also eco-friendly and biodegradable. Just make sure you purchase one from Naroa, as we use sustainable harvesting practices.

That’s really all you need to know. While both products will clean your skin, the sea sponge is superior for skincare while the loofah is superior for household cleaning and intense scrubbing.

Natural Loofah Bath Sponge

A natural loofah bath sponge, sometimes spelled as luffa, is a natural product made from plant material. The luffa plant is a tropical vine that produces a cucumber-like vegetable. To make a sponge from this plant, the vegetable is allowed to dry out completely and the seeds are removed. This leaves a very tough and fibrous material that can be cut into sponge shapes.

As loofahs are made from this plant material, they are incredibly sustainable. In some climates, including several states in the US, it is possible to grow luffa plants at home. However, loofah is generally imported from China or Egypt, which means long, unnecessary journey on a cargo ship, creating vast amounts of pollution.  Once the loofah has been used, it is also biodegradable. This is why they are often thought of as an excellent eco-friendly skincare sponge.

While this is definitely a sponge that removes dead skin, the problem is the texture. A loofah sponge is incredibly rough and tough. After using it on your skin, you will certainly feel clean, but it does not feel like a luxurious experience. Furthermore, exfoliating your skin with a loofah every day may be too much for your skin (especially your face) as it is a very abrasive tool which likely will cause irritation and potentially damage to your skin.


The main advantages of a natural loofah sponge are for the environment.

  • Natural product of the Earth,
  • Can be sustainably grown and harvested,
  • Biodegradable after use,
  • Affordable and widely available.


Unfortunately, the disadvantages of a natural loofah bath sponge mainly affect your skincare routine.

  • Too rough for sensitive skin,
  • Can cause skin damage with excessive exfoliation,
  • Holds onto dirt, dead skin, and bacteria,
  • Needs to be replaced every three to four weeks according to experts.

Natural Sea Sponge for Bathing

A natural sea sponge is a plant-like creature that grows on the seabed. Found in the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas, these creatures have been harvested since ancient times for cleaning and cosmetic purposes. To make a sea sponge for bathing, we cut the sponge just above the root to ensure that the creature can regrow. Once cleaned, dried, and cut to size, these luxury sponges are sold in the Naroa store.

The texture of a natural sea sponge is utterly unique and cannot be replicated with manmade materials. The intricate channels that create the body of the sponge allow water to move freely through the material. Once you add a high-quality soap, you can produce a thick and rich lather while using the sponge to gently cleanse and exfoliate.

It is this unique and soothing texture that makes a natural sea sponge so amazing for skincare.


Natural sea sponges have many advantages for your skin and the environment, making them the best choice for your skincare routine.

  • Effectively cleanses skin without causing damage,
  • Ideal for all skin types, including sensitive skin,
  • Has a massaging and soothing effect while exfoliating,
  • Produces a rich lather quickly and easily,
  • Naturally reduces bacteria,
  • Can last for 6 months or more.


Of course, no product is perfect. There are some problems with sea sponges that should be addressed.

  • The upfront cost may be higher (but they last far longer than loofahs),
  • Sterilizing and cleaning the sponge regularly requires time and effort.

Taking care of a natural sea sponge requires allowing it to dry between uses and regularly cleaning it. Take a look at our FAQs to learn how to perform a light clean and deep clean of a sea sponge. Although this will require a little more time and effort compared to a loofah, it ensures that your sponge lasts longer and maintains all those beneficial properties.

A natural sea sponge will remain usable until it is quite literally falling apart, so long as you sterilize and clean it correctly.

Try a natural sea sponge today

If you want to try a natural sea sponge, make sure you order one from Naroa. We use time-honored traditional methods of harvesting sea sponges to ensure that the natural population of sea sponges is maintained for future generations. We also hand-select, process and cut our sponges for their unique properties – you can select from a soothing, exfoliating, or massaging sponge depending on what your skin needs.

Whether you need to find a sponge that removes dead skin or a gentle sponge facial for cleaning pores, you can find a luxurious sea sponge on our website. Shop Naroa sea sponges today. 

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